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Literary/Art Magazine Celebrates 30 Years of Indiscreet Public Statements

“The Seton Quarterly, first literary magazine of Seton Hill College, is an expression of student thought and endeavor. It is a collegiate experiment in work both difficult and inviting: creative writing.”

- from the Foreword to the first Seton Quarterly

“The accepted pieces are a tribute to the many ways ‘Voyage’ can be interpreted in both literature and art. So, reader, fasten your seatbelts and ready the sails: it’s time for a journey.”

- from Co-Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Gipson’s Foreword to the Spring 2019 Eye Contact 30th Anniversary Edition

Seton Hill’s student-run Literary and Art Magazine, Eye Contact, publishes two volumes of poems, stories and art every academic year. Contributors are, for the most part, students and faculty of Seton Hill University; outside artists and writers are also welcome to submit work for consideration. This spring, Eye Contact celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a special full-color magazine.

“I joined Eye Contact as a way of meeting new people, and trying to get some practical experience in my major,” says Layout Editor Bianca Socci, a graphic and interactive design major who already has a successful freelance design business. “Eye Contact allowed me to learn in a really hands-on way. Since then, not only have I developed as a designer, but I’ve become a part of a community of creative people who are constantly supporting and encouraging one another.”

“This is a testament to the importance and the need for the arts as a way for students and faculty to express themselves.”

Students write, edit, design and coordinate printing for Eye Contact. They also solicit and manage financial donations and submissions of writing and art. All majors are welcome to participate in the production of the magazine.

“I became involved with Eye Contact because I have always had a passion for art and wanted to integrate it into my experience at Seton Hill, even if I wasn't majoring in it,” says Madison Wilson, an honors student majoring in sociology and psychology. “I became editor-in-chief my junior year and have grown so much from my work with such a fantastic and inspiring staff.” (Madison has been accepted into a Ph.D. program in sociology at West Virginia University.) 

The 30th Anniversary Edition of Eye Contact is also a celebration of a longstanding University tradition of student-produced literary publications. Beginning in 1937 and continuing through the 1970’s, Seton Hill students published original essays, poetry and fiction in The Seton Quarterly. 

“In 1980 it was renamed ‘Assemblage’ and for several years the name often changed,” says Seton Hill archivist Bill Black. “Indeed for a short time it was simply called ‘Literary Magazine…’ It is all a continuation of the Quarterly; all are the Seton Hill Literary Magazine.”

Eye Contact came into being at the end of that decade of upheaval, with a racy tagline (Indiscreet Public Statements) and a new format that included original artwork. 

“I've been advising Eye Contact for half the time it's been in print,” says English Professor Michael Arnzen, Ph.D. “The way it captures the artistic spirit and literary talent of our students always impresses me.”

“This magazine has been around for 30 years,” says Co-Editor-In-Chief and former Literary Editor Alexandra Gipson. (Alexandra, an English major, is currently looking forward to a creative writing/journalism internship at Aiken House.) “This is a testament to the importance and the need for the arts as a way for students and faculty to express themselves.”